Your perfect romantic weekend getaway is in the Barossa Valley
An indulgent break in the backdrop of Australian wine country can help you recharge, reconnect and reignite romance.
- February 2019
One of Australia’s best known wine destinations internationally, with some of the country’s biggest global brands being born here, this South Australian wine region is also home to a growing number of boutique wineries. An easy one-hour drive from Adelaide opens in new window Airport will bring you right into wine country, with rolling green vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Add in luxury accommodation, great food and excellent wine – and you have the recipe for the perfect romantic weekend away.
Where to check inMany of the Barossa’s cellar doors and leading restaurants are centred around what can be described as the “main drag”, Seppeltsfield Road. In the middle of all the action sits the exclusive resort The Louise opens in new window. Seemingly designed for romance, the intimate property (it is off-limits for kids under 10 years old) offers just 15 oversized suites, each of them featuring private courtyards opening up to vineyard views.
The understated sophistication of the Cape Cod-style décor – think muted hues of khaki and cream, plantation shutters and curated art – is enhanced by touches of thoughtful luxury such as outdoor showers complementing the spacious marble-clad bathrooms, homemade welcome cookies, a bespoke herbal tea blend served at evening turndown and most importantly, an attentive, nothing-is-too-much-trouble ethos to service.
While lavish in-room breakfasts are par for course, don’t miss their special ‘Breakfast with the kangaroos’ experience. Join wild kangaroos and their joeys as they munch on their breakfast in a leisurely bush walk through Deep Creek conservation park, then pause to indulge in a gourmet picnic of your own featuring fresh fruit, quiches, scones and mimosas.
For a more “DIY” sort of a stay, Stoneleigh Cottage B&B opens in new window is a heritage bed and breakfast offering a charming country experience. Located in historic Angaston, one of the Barossa’s three main townships, the cosy, self-contained cottages offer convenient access to restaurants, cafés, shops and importantly, cellar doors.
Wine tasting notes
The cellar door at regional icon, Seppeltsfield opens in new window vineyard, runs like a well-oiled machine. While a tasting of their table wines – including an excellent vermentino plus a couple of good iterations of the regional big-hitter, shiraz – is worthwhile, their Centennial Cellar should not be missed. A barrel of tawny has been cellared here every year since 1878 and the estate is the only winery in the world to release a century-old, single vintage wine each year. So, you can literally drink your age in wine with a taste of the one from your birth year. Seppeltsfield is home to more than just a cellar door though, with a range of experiential activities on offer, including craft workshops at the on-site artists’ studio.
If this is one of the region’s most historic wineries, at the other end of the spectrum is the younger, quirkier Two Hands Wines opens in new window. Opt for a tasting on their atmospheric terrace – their premium shiraz, grenache and cabernet sauvignon are packed with personality.
For something more hands-on, the “make your own blend” experience at Jacob’s Creek opens in new window is a fun way to create a wine to your personal taste and take it home. Other indie wineries worth visiting include Tscharke opens in new window and Elderton opens in new window. But if you want to take the guesswork out, place your trust in a tailored tour focusing on boutique wineries with Barossa Taste Sensation opens in new window.
When you’re all wined out, stop by the Seppeltsfield Road Distillers opens in new window to try their to try their stellar range of craft gins infused with flavours of the Barossa, in the sleek contemporary tasting room.
And what’s the food like?
The legendary Maggie Beer is one of the region’s biggest ambassadors and at Maggie’s Farm Shop you can fill your basket with a range of gourmet goodies. Next door at the rustic-chic The Farm Eatery opens in new window you can enjoy a lazy lunch in the sunshine by the tranquil lake, watching the turtles swim past. The menu, featuring fresh local produce, changes daily.
Also celebrating seasonal produce is Fino opens in new window restaurant, where the compact grazing-style menu includes inventive dishes such as zucchini with new garlic, sprouted lentils and almond. Linger on their sunny terrace for sensational desserts such as Crèma Catalana.
For date night, however, look no further than the elegant Appellation opens in new window. With Barossa boy Daniel Murphy recently taking over as executive chef at this renowned hatted venue, the ingredient-led menus focus on provenance (it isn’t uncommon to find Daniel popping out to the kitchen garden in the middle of service) and personalisation. The simple yet refined dishes could include anything from Spencer Gulf kingfish with stone fruit, buckwheat and sour cream to Hutton Vale lamb with smoked eggplant. Matching Daniel step for step is his wife and pastry chef Emily, who dishes up dreamy desserts like strawberry sorbet with yoghurt cream, meringue and davidson plum sherbet. Wash it all down with paired wines from the award-winning wine list showcasing premium SA and international vintages.
While Appellation is undoubtedly the star of the show, the sunset terrace of Bar Louise is not to be missed either – watching the sky being painted a watercolour canvas of brilliant pink and orange, over a hand-crafted cocktail or a glass of local vintage is quite a magical experience.